Tag Archives: Aussie Voices

When we were two – a PM Literary Award triumph

When we were two has won a PM Literary Award this year for YP fiction and it is a very deserving winner. Robert Newton has created such endearing characters in Dan and Eddie and these brothers – their relationship, their amazing bond, their Aussie mateship – will draw you into their story. You will walk side by side with them and feel as tho you are with them on their journey, experiencing their hardships and their conquests.

Older brother Dan is fed up with his life and can’t take his cruel abusive father any longer so he leaves home in search of a better life. Dan thought he was embarking on a solo journey until he realises his little brother Eddie has joined him. At first Dan orders Eddie straight back home but after Eddie refuses Dan concedes, he doesn’t really want to send his brother back to their father, the man he is running from. So they head off together determined to find a better life and with the hope of finding their lost mother. On their travels they meet different people with different agendas and Dan must keep his wits about him to protect his brother. They meet a group of soldiers and join forces as they march over the mountains to join up in the Great War.

The language is typically Australian and the story deals with periods of fortitude, angst, sadness, happiness, confusion, hope and loss. It’s a multitude of emotion. It is a book that will make you cry and one that will have you laughing out loud. A real Aussie gem of a book :-)

Who is the boy up the tree in Currawalli Street?

The first chapters of Currawalli Street plod along slowly. Not in a drab, laborious way but in a smooth rhythmic manner like the clip-clop of a horse’s hooves as it wanders slowly up a dirt track. The author’s style of writing is lyrical and evocative. I was none too surprised to hear that the author […]

Aussie Voices: The Jerilderie Letter

Ned Kelly’s apotheosis was complete almost before he died, and so it’s interesting to read his own account of his life, complete with spelling mistakes and odd curse words, made genteel by time and distance. The Jerildere Letter was likely composed with the aid of Joe Byrne, but it is Kelly’s justification of his actions, and so it encapsulates how […]

Aussie Voices: Australian Legendary Tales: Folk-Lore of the Noongahburrahs As Told To The Piccaninnies

This fortnight on Aussie Voices, we have a strange document, with layered significance, by a female writer who lived in north-western New South Wales. Two tales of her childhood, unprovable as all such things are, show K. Langloh Parker’s character, and the kernel of her work. Young Katie determined that she was not a very attractive person while […]

Aussie Voices: Australia’s First Detective Novelist

This week, Aussie Voices looks at Fergus Hume, a Melbourne based writer who published Australia’s first detective novel, arguably the first of the great thrillers. Hume was a clerk in Melbourne, and wrote plays, but could not get local producers to even look at them. As the Monsieur Lecoq novels, a series in which a reformed […]

Aussie Voices: The Mutiny on the Bounty, and what followed after

For this fortnight’s Aussie Voices, I’d like to point out three pieces which, although recorded by separate people at separate times, link together to document an interesting incident in Australian history. The three recordings are A Voyage to the South Sea by William Bligh The Eventful History of the Mutiny and Piratical Seizure of H.M.S. Bounty: Its […]

Aussie Voices : A Lady’s Visit to the Gold Diggings of Australia

Ellen Clacy was the daughter of an English priest who, together with her brother, came out to the goldfields to try and strike it rich. She brings an outsider’s view of Australia. At the same time, you could argue, and I’d like to, that certain elements of modern Australian culture are the products of the cultural and […]

Aussie Voices: claiming a gentleman thief for the colonies

Ernest Hornung was not an Australian author. His work, superficially, seems to be as English as other gentleman adventurer novels. Under the surface though, his work steps away from what was then a clear genre, of young men with pluck that go abroad and return in glory. I’m including him in Aussie Voices because his work is deeply informed by […]

The Play by CJ Dennis

It was difficult to select a recording to feature first in the Aussie Voices project, but Algy’s recording of The songs of a sentimental bloke by CJ Dennis offers so many avenues for interesting speculation that I wanted to present it early. CJ Dennis is a fascinating author. Little remembered now, he was rather like Mark Twain as to […]

An Aussie Voices preview

Aussie Voices is a little project we have here on book coasters to promote the Year of Reading, by celebrating reading aloud. As part of this, I’m going to be reviewing an audiobook every two weeks. Many of these have been recorded by community volunteers, through Librivox. Others will come from the Library’s Bolinda download service, which contains commercial […]

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